San Fransicans can no longer buy a car from a U.S. new car dealer. San Francisco Ford Lincoln Mercury suddenly closed, leaving the new car market to imported car dealers.
Ford’s only other dealer closed in 2008, when the franchise holder gave up.
“We’re referring people to Serramonte and other dealers in the Bay Area,” said Roger Bramble, a service department manager, who along with about 50 other employees will be out of a job when the remaining servicing and repair jobs are done.
Distinguishing “American” made from “foreign” made autos has become a great game among gear heads. Since parts for cars are now made around the world and can be assembled practically anywhere, hanging a country-of-origin label on a car leads to sometimes heated arguments. The significance of this dealership closing will be fleeting.
Ford Lincoln Mercury President Mel Turner, said, in a statement,
“We are proud to have served the San Francisco community and will be focusing over the coming weeks on helping employees through this transition and ensuring our current customer commitments are met.”
As a Chevrolet dealer down the street pointed out, people in San Francisco love their small eco-boxes. Many parking structures in SF won’t even allow the behemoth SUVs.
“It’s a tough market. Imports have a much bigger share in San Francisco,” said Dennis Fitzpatrick, owner of Concord Chevrolet and regional vice president of the California New Car Dealers Association. “When you can sell 100 imports a month as opposed to 25 domestic, and what with the rents and real estate, it’s tough to make a U.S. car dealership pencil.”
“Pencil” which is car-dealer speak for “make money.”